When I ask small business owners what their number one challenge in marketing is I get a range of different answers. Lately I’ve been hearing “the economy”, “the housing market”, “high taxes” or some other force that is beyond our control.
So where does that leave us? If our biggest marketing challenges are these insurmountable forces that are beyond our control then how are we to ever succeed? Doesn’t this seem defeatist to you? Wouldn’t you rather think of marketing challenges in terms of things you can control? Yeah, the economy sucks, but does that mean we should give up? Does that mean we have to sit back and fail? Absolutely not! What it means is that we as small business owners have an opportunity to re-think our marketing strategies, get creative and boldly claim our piece of the pie (yes, it is a smaller piece- but it’s still pie!).
A marketing challenge is a problem your small business is having that you CAN control. Like: not getting enough leads; not converting enough leads; diminishing customer loyalty; decreasing spend by existing customers, etc. You’re probably scratching your head, “But all of these things have to do with a bad economy…” Yes, people are spending less and are more mindful of the purchases they make, but guess what – they are still spending! Are you getting a piece of that or are you sitting back with a defeatist attitude and not doing anything to capture what market share there is?
The economy is bad, there is no denying that. But has everyone stopped buying? No, they haven’t. A friend of mine just went to Disneyland on New Years and it was sold out. He asked, “Where’s this recession I keep hearing about?” Is Disneyland using the recession as an excuse to stop marketing? Quite the opposite, they are out there more than ever offering really great deals to those who are sick and tired of eating in every night, watching every penny and skipping more expensive vacations. Disney understands that the economy is not their number one marketing challenge- reaching their target market with compelling messaging and offers is their challenge.
If you are one of those small business owners who think your biggest marketing challenge is some reality that is out of your control, I want to challenge your thinking: Economies are always going to boom and bust, housing markets will rise and fall, competitors will always come out with a great sale that will attract your market or even make some of your customers think – or worse yet shop. These are not marketing challenges. These are reality.
So, l’ll ask again: What is your number one marketing challenge? And what are you doing to overcome it?
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